On Tuesday, I decided to walk the Project Trade Show as I was hoping to find some new, inspiring brands… Although there were a handful that hit homeruns, the bulk of the exhibitors were still showing that dated LA, highly embellished tee shirt, hoodie, overdone denim look. Hasn’t it seen its day? Do men really still dress like that? Granted I don’t get out of the city much these days, so I am probably out of touch with what is happening in Des Moines (nothing against Des Moines), but come on, if you aren’t having a Bromance with Brody Jenner then there has to be something else. Luckily there is…
One of my favorite discoveries was a brand called Operations. Now, somehow I managed to miss them in Soho (they have been there since 2004). I admit I don’t walk Mercer Street very often…in fact I pretty much don’t look to Soho for novelty anymore, so my bad! Anyway, they just opened a store in the MPD across from the Apple store, so I ran over there on Wednesday to check it out and just like my Project impression, it was love at first sight!!!
Operations was founded by 3 college friends, Johannes Mahmood, Matteo Gottardi and Michael Leen. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael at the show and Mahmood in the store and let me tell you, they are as charming as the line. Their original concept was to import authentic workwear and uniforms from other countries with which they developed a loyal following. Realizing that they were onto something bigger, they started designing full collections using these very pieces as the driving force.
They created a masculine, modern utilitarian aesthetic, with careful attention to maintaining original details, such as oversized pockets and uniform-like buttons and replacing the often heavier, fabrics with softer felted wools and Italian tweeds. The overall effect is sexy-immigrant meets modern hipster. The standouts are the outerwear, sportjackets and shakets. The silhouettes are contemporary and youthful, enhancing a rugged, manly-man meets “modernista” vibe. I can see this guy frequenting the multitude of speakeasy establishments taking hold of NYC. Now that said, the collection is quite versatile as well and would be quite a nice update to some of your more mundane work outfits or your down and dirty weekend brunch gear. The current Fall collection is on sale for 40% off at their stores, though they have some great pieces that are as low as 60.. Oh and how can I forget, they manufacture in the good ole USA…you know how I love that!!!!!
Now as you know, I don’t really like to talk about product you cannot buy now, but I do want to let you know that they are launching a lower priced collection which will hit stores in September, 2009 and will be sure to be all the rage! Trust me guys you will love this line!!!! If like me it hasn’t yet hit your radar, then make it a point to check out this oh so cool and quite authentic operation (pun of course intended)!!!!